Lumpia Shanghai for a Group

Lumpia Shanghai for a Group
The Best Party Appetizer

Making ultimae paty snack Philippne Lumpia

Finished Lumpia Shanghai

The Filipino fried dumplings, Lumpia Shanghai, may be one of the most popular appetizers for parties. They tend to disappear rapidly.  Most available Continue reading

Indonesian Cuisine

A Nation of Islands
Rijsttafel, Sate, and Sambals

“Indonesia isn’t a country, it’s a happening.” — Christopher Lucas [1]

Garjda, Indonesia 14th cent.

Garuda, Indonesia, 14th cent.

Indonesia stretches from the Asian mainland towards Australia, like a jade necklace across the southern ocean.  The nation contains more than 17,000 islands, and its people represent several hundred ethnic groups, speaking many different languages.

Indonesia is an ancient country and its Continue reading

Philippine Cuisine

Crossroads of Asia
Lingering Vinegar and Garlic

“There’s a trick if you want to know that it’s a Filipino an apartment belongs to; the garlic and vinegar can linger around a good long while.” — N.V.M. Golnzalez, The Bamboo Dancers [1]

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines. And its people speak some 87 languages.[2, 3]

Lumpia Shanghai
Fusion Food and the Greatest Appetizer

Can there be any common factors in the cuisine of such a far-flung and diverse people? There may be some common elements, but we have to look for them in the past.

The ancestors of today’s Filipinos spoke languages of the Malayo-Polynesian language family.  This far-flung language group stretches from Madagascar in the west to Easter Island in the east, with Hawaii in the middle.

These people were sea-farers, expert seamen and navigators.  Fish were an essential part of their diet, and seafood remains a key element of Philippine cuisine today. Continue reading

Edward Schafer and Berthold Laufer

The Golden Peaches of Samarkand
Chronicles of the Silk Road — Tang Dynasty

Crystallized Ginger

“Without coriander, saffron, mint, ginger and oregano, the foods of the Middle East and China wold be bland indeed.” — Kathie Webber [1]

Kathie Webber is right.  Who could imagine Sichuan cooking without hot red peppers?  And yet they are a fairly recent addition to the Sichuan kitchen. Continue reading

Lumpia – The Best Party Snack

Lumpia Shanghai,
The Best Party Snack

When people talk about Filipino food, one dish that always comes up is Lumpia Shanghai, the crispy egg roll appetizer or side dish with its unique sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Chicken and pork adobo, cardereta,or pancit may be national dishes of the Philippines – depending on whom you talk to – but lumpia has to be the best snack food from that country.

It’s popular not only in the Philippines but wherever people have had the chance to try it, in Filipino restaurants or homes anywhere in the world. What is it that makes this dish so popular? Continue reading